The Signs of the Times


August 9, 1905

“Wounded For Our Transgressions”


Read the record of Christ's suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane. Never before or since has so fearful a strain been brought upon a human being as that which God permitted to be brought upon His Son at this time. It is not possible for His suffering and distress to be exceeded; for He was bearing the sins of the whole world; and in all His suffering He gave an example of absolute submission to the divine will. The sinless Son of God was treated as a sinner, that sinful human beings might be treated as innocent. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” He laid off His royal robe and kingly crown, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might live in our behalf a life of sinlessness, and on the cross make an atonement for our transgressions. He consented to take the body of humanity. He could have refused to be thus humiliated; but it was to suffer humiliation and death that He came into the world. ST August 9, 1905, par. 1

It was the anguish of separation from His Father's favor that made Christ's sufferings so acute. As the agony of soul came upon Him, “He sweat as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” His terrible suffering, caused by the thought that in this hour of need God had forsaken Him, portrays the anguish that the sinner will feel when, too late, he realizes that God's Spirit has been withdrawn from him. ST August 9, 1905, par. 2

Christ's human nature recoiled from the trial, and with strong crying and tears he said, “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.” The humanity of Christ trembled in that trying hour. The awful moment had come,—that moment which was to decide the destiny of the world. The fate of humanity hung in the balance. Christ might even now refuse to drink the cup apportioned to guilty man. It was not yet too late. He might wipe the bloody sweat from His brow, and leave man to perish in his iniquity. He might say, Let the transgressor receive the penalty of his sin, and I will go back to My Father. Will the Son of God drink the bitter cup of humiliation and agony. Will the innocent suffer the consequences of the curse of sin, to save the guilty? The words fall tremblingly from the pale lips of Jesus, “O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.” ST August 9, 1905, par. 3

How little can we enter into this dreadful experience through which the Saviour passed. His prayer was heard, in that He feared. What did He fear?—That He would refuse to drink the cup of suffering. But a refusal to drink this cup would mean that no human being could be saved. Only by His suffering and death could human beings be placed on vantage-ground. Only by drinking of the bitter cup of imputed transgression could He save the race from perishing in sin. ST August 9, 1905, par. 4

Fulness of Suffering

Christ drank the bitter draught to the very dregs. He was not spared one pang of anguish. This was His hour, and the power of darkness. In this awful crisis, when everything was at stake, when the mysterious cup trembled in the hand of the Sufferer, the heavens opened, a light shone forth amidst the darkness, and the mighty angel who stands in God's presence, from which Satan fell, came to the side of Christ. The angel came not to take the cup from Christ's hands, but to strengthen Him to drink it, with the assurance of the Father's love. He came to give power to the divine-human Suppliant He pointed Him to the open heavens, telling Him of the souls that would be saved as the result of His sufferings. He assured Him that His Father is greater and more powerful than Satan, that His death would result in the discomfiture of Satan, and that the kingdom of this world would be given to the saints of the Most High. He told Him that He would see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied, for He would see a multitude of the race saved, eternally saved. ST August 9, 1905, par. 5

Christ had spoken to His disciples of the experience awaiting Him. “I have a baptism to be baptized with,” He said, “and how am I straightened till it be accomplished?” He could not but feel a dread, as He thought of what that hour would bring to Him. Fear came upon Him, as He thought of the strain that His humanity would have to bear, and the prayer came from His lips, “Father, save Me from this hour.” Then He added, “But for this cause came I unto this hour.” He had pledged Himself to bear the penalty of sin. He had entered into a covenant to offer a sacrifice that would make possible the salvation of every repentant sinner. ST August 9, 1905, par. 6

Only through the death of Christ could Satan's kingdom be overthrown. Only thus could man be redeemed, and God be glorified. Jesus consented to the agony, He accepted the sacrifice. The Majesty of heaven consented to suffer as the Sin-bearer. “Father, glorify Thy name,” He said. As Christ spoke these words, a response came from the cloud which hovered above His head, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” Christ's whole life, from the manger to the time when these words were spoken, had glorified God; and in the coming trial His divine-human sufferings would indeed glorify His Father's name. ST August 9, 1905, par. 7

The Second Adam

Christ bore the sins of the whole world. He was the second Adam. Taking upon Himself human nature, He passed over the ground where Adam stumbled and fell. Having taken humanity, He has an intense interest in human beings. He felt keenly the sinfulness, the shame, of sin. He is our Elder Brother. He came to prove that human beings can, through the power of God, live sinless lives. ST August 9, 1905, par. 8

Satan had made the boast that he would gather the world under his banner of rebellion. He declared that man could not keep the law of God. Christ came to prove this assertion false. He came to meet all the temptations wherewith man is beset, and to endure all the trials that we are called to endure. He was tempted in all points like as we are tempted, yet His life was without spot or stain of sin. He redeemed Adam's failure, and worked out for us a perfect character. ST August 9, 1905, par. 9

Victory in Death

Christ did not yield up His life until He had accomplished the work that He came to do, and with His parting breath He exclaimed, “It is finished.” The battle had been won. His right arm had gotten Him the victory. As a conqueror He planted His banner on the eternal heights. Was there not joy among the angels? All heaven triumphed in the Saviour's victory. Satan was defeated, and knew that his kingdom was lost. ST August 9, 1905, par. 10

Could one sin have been found in Christ, had He in one particular yielded to Satan in order to escape the terrible torture, the enemy of God and man would have triumphed. Christ bowed His head and died, but He held fast His faith in God. “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” ST August 9, 1905, par. 11

No one need be overcome by Satan's assaults. Christ has conquered for every son and daughter of Adam. He came to cut every thread that binds human beings to Satan. His life of pure, unselfish service is our example. Let us study His work in our world. As we stand at the foot of the cross, and behold the infinite sacrifice made in our behalf, we shall be humbled and subdued. Our hearts will be filled with a desire to practise the self-denial and sacrifice seen in Christ's life. Self will sink out of sight. All worldly ambition, all desire for earthly gain, will be quenched. We shall count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. Our highest aim will be to know Him, “and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” ST August 9, 1905, par. 12